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Thread: Vintage watch brands that you don't hear much about

  1. #1
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    Vintage watch brands that you don't hear much about

    As someone who usually buys at the affordable end of the watch spectrum, I find that many of the brands that get the most coverage are not something that I would be looking at. I have found a number of wonderful vintage watches from less talked about brands, which look great and are well made. I would be interested to see what other people have in their collection that falls into this category.

    So to start off here is one of my Cortebert watches. It has a stainless steel case, domed champagne coloured dial with rose gold hands and indices. I think it is from the 1960s.

    I look forward to seeing what gems you all have tucked away!




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    Last edited by Zook; 25th October 2020 at 20:51. Reason: typo

  2. #2
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    just seen the typo in the title, is there any way I can edit that?


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  3. #3
    Master unclealec's Avatar
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    Yeah, click on "edit", then click on "go advanced". You can then edit the title.

  4. #4
    Master
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    Edox,here is my bluebird.

    Last edited by Dr.f; 25th October 2020 at 22:05.

  5. #5
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    There's loads of great brands/manufacturers that disappeared with the onset of the '70's 'quartz crisis'. Wakmann are a classic example.



    Cheers,
    Gary

  6. #6
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    As with you I am firmly in the affordable end of the market. What makes it so exciting is finding a lovely vintage watch from an obscure or defunct brand. Some watches just speak for themselves but sometimes it is something about the brand that attracts me. One day I will have an Enicar just to have a watch with the Saturn symbol on.

    Anyway, here are a few of mine.






  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wimm View Post
    As with you I am firmly in the affordable end of the market. What makes it so exciting is finding a lovely vintage watch from an obscure or defunct brand. Some watches just speak for themselves but sometimes it is something about the brand that attracts me. One day I will have an Enicar just to have a watch with the Saturn symbol on.

    Anyway, here are a few of mine.





    That Astro dive watch is beautiful


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  8. #8
    Craftsman JPE's Avatar
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    I'm sure my grandfather's Choisi fits to this category.




  9. #9
    Grand Master SimonK's Avatar
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    Favre Leuba - the world's second oldest watch brand, after Blancpain.

    -

  10. #10
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonK View Post
    Favre Leuba - the world's second oldest watch brand, after Blancpain.

    -
    Nice watches. You have to be careful though - loads of frankens and fakes around, mainly from India. Been caught out more than once!

    .

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPE View Post
    I'm sure my grandfather's Choisi fits to this category.



    This has some UG polerouter vibes!


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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    Nice watches. You have to be careful though - loads of frankens and fakes around, mainly from India. Been caught out more than once!

    .

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    Interestingly, the brand is now owned by an Indian watch company-Titan

  13. #13
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary View Post
    There's loads of great brands/manufacturers that disappeared with the onset of the '70's 'quartz crisis'......

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Pre-quartz there were 800 brands. After the quartz decimation, 150 survived. Today there are 1000 brands.

    We could be here for a while.
    A fully wound watch smells like Switzerland.

  14. #14
    Master
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    How about Damas? You never hear anything about them, but the parent company (Beguelin) supplied movements to very early Rolex. This particular one from late '30's - early '40's with an in-house movement and 36mm 'jumbo' case required Brendan to perform some magic to get it working, but it's a beauty.


  15. #15
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    Interestingly, the brand is now owned by an Indian watch company-Titan
    Indian watches are an interesting thing from a vintage perspective. Ive bought some truly awful examples over the years. Fortunately they are cheap. I gave the 'vintage' HTM with badly misaligned hands and a movement losing 10m a day to one of my grandons to play with.

    .

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  16. #16
    Oriosa!
    they made some wonderful stuff
    I was lucky to pick this up with serious issues, but perserverance paid off, I think, ittook 18 months to eventually sort.
    That Bakelite bezel is wonderful and the monnin-cased watch is now spot-on, just the lightest patina, and has certainly given me the taste for more
    ebay in Italy seems to throw up some gems


  17. #17
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Oriosa carried on into the quartz period - here's a diver of mine.

    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  18. #18
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Most of my gear is "name stuff" so no good on this thread but here's a Continental that has a look of an Omega Dynamic about it.

    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  19. #19
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    And a NOS Questar - anyone else seen one?


    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  20. #20
    Master alfat33's Avatar
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    I have this Nicolet with rotating bezel. It’s not the same company as Armand Nicolet.

  21. #21
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Another of my old watches, an Orator from the 1970's.



    Cheers,
    Gary

  22. #22
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    And a Ricoh. Alway loved the proportions of this one.



    Cheers,
    Gary

  23. #23
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Traco.



    As has been said there was an awful lot of watch companies that went to the wall in the '70's. A lot of names these were either bought out (Breitling for example) or were later re-invented to cash in on the resurgence in mechanical watches.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  24. #24
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    A Sicura from 1975 celebrating 50 years of MG.



    Cheers,
    Gary

  25. #25
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    Bunch of them were just different brand names for different markets or joint ventures.



    Some local I have owned

    - Darwil
    - Omikron
    - Orex (truly weird, Romanian brand with chinese and russian movements)
    - Lanco (Tissot subbrand)
    - Mimo
    - Kelek
    - Mortima
    - Meister Anker
    - Kienzle
    - Lado
    - Partex
    - Jumbo
    - Precimax
    - Tavannes


    Etc...

  26. #26
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    CROTON

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  27. #27
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    I'd go with Eterna. Though now owned by a Chinese company, it goes back 150 years and it is responsible for the founding of ETA (SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse). Some nice vintage stuff specially chronos equipped with Valjoux 72.

  28. #28
    Well here is the watch my dad wore the most by far. He bought it in the fifties and was still wearing it fifty years later.




















    Not much out there about the Watra brand, appears to have been a French manufacturer.


    He also had this Swiss made Avia watch probably dates about the same time or just a few years later. Very nice satin dial.





    My Father in Law had this which turned out to be by Glashütte from their GUB days and has the good old Spezimatic movement in there. Dates from the late Sixties I would think.





















    Mitch

  29. #29
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    I love this old sub dial Avia's that are nearly all dial.
    Last edited by Velorum; 27th October 2020 at 20:59.
    ''I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
    purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis"

  30. #30
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    A few from my collection
    Roamer
    Grana
    Moeris
    Record

    If it was not for our host Precista, Smiths etc would be on the list

  31. #31
    Craftsman Blueboy1's Avatar
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    Great post, here are some of mine (please excuse the awful photo quality)...












  32. #32
    Master
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    Another from me - not exactly ‘unheard of’ but under-rated in my opinion - late ‘40’s Cyma ‘bumper’ automatic:

    Last edited by Neil.Ldn; 27th October 2020 at 09:32.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary View Post
    Traco.



    As has been said there was an awful lot of watch companies that went to the wall in the '70's. A lot of names these were either bought out (Breitling for example) or were later re-invented to cash in on the resurgence in mechanical watches.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    I really like that. Interesting case and nicely finished

  34. #34
    Master bobbee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinner77 View Post
    Bunch of them were just different brand names for different markets or joint ventures.



    Some local I have owned

    - Darwil
    - Omikron
    - Orex (truly weird, Romanian brand with chinese and russian movements)
    - Lanco (Tissot subbrand)
    - Mimo
    - Kelek
    - Mortima
    - Meister Anker
    - Kienzle
    - Lado
    - Partex
    - Jumbo
    - Precimax
    - Tavannes


    Etc...

    Lanco is actually a sub-brand of Langendorf Watch Co.

    You can find many vintage adverts from some well known and also lesser known companies here:

    https://www.watchuseek.com/threads/e...#post-18114298

  35. #35
    Master Caruso's Avatar
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    Not sure what happened to this brand


  36. #36
    Master Wolfie's Avatar
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    Herma



    BWC



    Loads of interesting things out there…. Most of my watches are from smaller brands - lots of interesting stuff and great variety

  37. #37
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caruso View Post
    Not sure what happened to this brand
    I bet it was all down to the age old size argument
    Most men swore they needed a larger one than they actually required.
    They wanted 44mm when really 40 would have done.
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 27th October 2020 at 21:32.

  38. #38
    Craftsman JPE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zook View Post
    This has some UG polerouter vibes!
    Yes... and also Omega Piepan vibes.

  39. #39
    Master Tazmo61's Avatar
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    Baylor are another , I use to own a Baylor Norseman , a cracking watch for what I paid .



  40. #40
    A few from me ....







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  41. #41
    Craftsman Robbo12's Avatar
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    Just wanted to add a new purchase of mine ,from the bay and a brand that I didnt know alot about .

    Ogival , As 1916 auto movement , approx 43mm really nice watch and my only world time. [IMG] [/IMG]

  42. #42
    Master sish101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueboy1 View Post
    Great post, here are some of mine (please excuse the awful photo quality)...


    That O&W Caribbean is gorgeous, can't wait for Eddie's re-issue when it arrives.

    I have these two Ebay bargains.



    Sent through the ether by diddling with radio waves

  43. #43
    Grand Master SimonK's Avatar
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    This is for sale on a French forum. Now, my latin is not so strong, but I would have thought recta is the plural of rectum.





  44. #44
    Master alfat33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonK View Post
    This is for sale on a French forum. Now, my latin is not so strong, but I would have thought recta is the plural of rectum.




    Closer to ‘right’, like rectified or rectitude. Not a bad name for a watch. Nice watch as well.

  45. #45
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonK View Post
    This is for sale on a French forum. Now, my latin is not so strong, but I would have thought recta is the plural of rectum.



    That's a queer one.

    I have seen quite a few Majex watches over here but never a Recta Majex.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  46. #46
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Most people would have heard of Fortis but an Audax - Fortis??

    Two separate firms, although the caseback is marked Fortis.




    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  47. #47
    Master alfat33's Avatar
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    Also I’m guessing that the 2376 marked on the back refers to the ETA movement inside. Is that right. According to Ranfft there is an ETA2375 and a 2377 but not a 2376. Or at least not documented on Ranfft - surely it must be likely that there is one.

  48. #48
    Apprentice
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    This was my first vintage watch. I've since sold it on, but it's amazing how cheap these unknown brands can be. Trafalgar was apparently a small UK watch maker in the city of London just before the quartz crisis.


  49. #49
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfat33 View Post
    Also I’m guessing that the 2376 marked on the back refers to the ETA movement inside. Is that right. According to Ranfft there is an ETA2375 and a 2377 but not a 2376. Or at least not documented on Ranfft - surely it must be likely that there is one.
    I had an idea it may be that too, although I have never opened it.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  50. #50
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattcurry View Post
    This was my first vintage watch. I've since sold it on, but it's amazing how cheap these unknown brands can be. Trafalgar was apparently a small UK watch maker in the city of London just before the quartz crisis.
    I recently sold a NOS Trafalgar I had for a while.

    I don't think they were a small city based watchmaker . Trafalgar was just a company that bought cheaper watches and branded them with their name.

    The quartz crisis didn't bother them as they never actually made anything AFAIK and I have seen and owned LED and other quartz Trafalgar models.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

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